The Top 3 Reasons Why IT Budgeting is Critical to Your Firm’s Success
Somehow, December is upon us yet again, which can only mean one thing: a lot of businesses out there are currently trying to figure out how to hit the ground running as we move into 2020 in just a few short weeks.
Not too long ago, I sat down with a fairly new client of ours for a lunch meeting and we were discussing this very process. As someone who has been in this business for many years, it’s something I’m going through right now myself – so it was nice to commiserate with someone about all of it for an hour over a delicious meal.
But when the topic turned to budgeting, this client said something to me that I’d like to take some time to discuss with all of you today. He told me that the 2020 budgets for nearly all of his departments were accounted for, with the sole exception of IT. He said he didn’t really “see the need” to put too much thought in it because he saw IT as a way to “maintain the status quo,” so to speak. Other areas of the business were responsible for growth and innovation, so he’d rather focus his attention on those elements instead. He’d figure out his IT budget as he went along next year.
While he’s certainly entitled to his opinion… it is MY opinion that he is dead wrong. Because IT budgeting isn’t just critical to the health and well-being of your technology infrastructure. It’s absolutely critical to your firm’s long-term success for three major reasons that I’d love to take the opportunity to explore.
There’s No Such Thing as a “Good Surprise” in Business
One of the biggest reasons why IT budgeting is so critical to your firm’s success ultimately comes down to how it helps you prevent tech-related surprises throughout the year… and the huge, often unexpected price tags that usually come with them.
Whenever you’re talking about something as malleable as technology, you can be confident that certain issues are going to arise. Some of these are bigger than others and the implications can be pretty severe. Do you know what you’re going to do if you run into unexpected server issues? Do you have a plan for accounting for a sudden, unexpected need to upgrade some critical asset? Do you know what you’re going to do when disaster strikes?
If you have a proper IT budget headed into the new year, you WILL – and, better than that, you’ll also know exactly how you’re going to pay for them, too.
Forecasting Becomes Easier Than Ever
Another one of the reasons why IT budgeting is critical to your firm’s success is because it allows you to forecast those large, IT costs sometimes YEARS in advance.
Think about it like this: you know exactly where you want your business to be in five years. You know what shape you hope it ultimately takes. Once you know that, you also know how technology is going to help get you there – meaning that you also know what you’ll need to buy and invest in along the way.
The sooner you have that level of insight, the sooner you can get started on figuring out how you’re going to pay for it all. You know which investments need to be made at which point in the calendar and again, you’re doing your part to eliminate surprises as much as possible. At that point, you can be ready for those opportunities to finally appear and you can capitalize on them immediately – as opposed to being forced to sit idly and watch them pass you by.
Budgeting for the Good Things AND the Bad
Finally, understand that proper IT budgeting isn’t all about planning for those happy occurrences like new technologies and hardware upgrades. It also helps better prepare you for those events that we don’t really like to think about, too.
Proper budget allocation for IT means that all of your cyber security and backup/disaster recovery needs are taken care of, too. If you come into the office one morning and suddenly realize that you were hit with a ransomware attack at some point during the night, productivity doesn’t have to grind to a halt. You don’t have to waste valuable time figuring out how you’re going to recover from the attack, or whether or not a recovery is even possible.
Because you built in backup and disaster recovery to your IT budget in January, all the weapons you need to fight that particular battle are already in place. At that point, getting everything back up and running again isn’t just easy – it’s practically effortless.
But without the right IT budget to work from in the first place, that type of event WILL come as exactly the type of nasty surprise that you fear. If you’re not a fan of that idea, just wait until you see what happens to your blood pressure when you also see the often devastating financial losses that come with them.
Never forget that as a business leader, you’re making countless important decisions on a daily basis. But unless those decisions are based on actionable intelligence and insightful analysis, you can never be truly confident that you’re making exactly the right move at exactly the right time.
Your IT infrastructure is critical to your firm’s success, which means that your IT budgeting is critical, too. Without the second element, it’s almost impossible to account for the first – which means that accomplishing your goals as we move into 2020 becomes far, far more difficult than you realize.
Ready to Create the Right IT Budget?
So if you're ready to create the right IT budget that your own business needs to thrive in the new year, terrific - there's a solid chance that we'll be able to help. Please contact either myself or a colleague at QuestingHound today for your free introductory phone call. It'll put us in an excellent position to make sure our organizations are a good fit for one another, thus allowing us to to help address all of your IT budgeting needs and more.
John Boden is a Managing Partner at QuestingHound, Inc., a Deerfield Beach IT support company that has been helping small businesses in South Florida stop focusing on IT and getting back to doing business the past 18 years. He promotes a culture that is dedicated to the highest standard of ethics, hard work, and outstanding customer service. Connect with John on LinkedIn.